Here are some more books I read last month while I was neglecting the TBR Challenge.
Wedding Night with a Stranger by Anna Cleary. Harlequin Presents Extra, August 2010. Australian-born Ariadne was orphaned at a young age and taken in and raised by her older Greek aunt and uncle. After a scandal that included leaving a man at the altar, her uncle tells her that he is sending her on a vacation to Australia. She can lie low and let things die down a bit, supposes Ariadne. She supposes erroneously.
As the plane begins pull away from the gate, Ariadne discovers that she is being sent to marry a stranger as part of a business transaction. Sebastian needs a loan to keep his company afloat, but he doesn’t want to remarry following his wife’s death. The two meet and while Sebastian is willing, Ariadne is not. But she’s broke, and pawning what little jewelry she brought with her has her changing her mind. Marriage will release the small amount money her parents left in trust, and she will be free to at least plan the next step in her life.
The title was slightly misleading. The wedding doesn’t take place until late in the book, after Ariadne and Sebastian have gotten to know each other more. Contrary to the title, she didn’t step off the plane and get married immediately. Most of the conflict stemmed from Sebastian not knowing that Ariadne didn’t know about the marriage before she got on the plane. He thinks she’s a party girl who is out of control, and of course Ariadne doesn’t try to change his opinion of her. Once they actually get married, they have a wedding night, some cold feet, a misunderstanding, and then the end. The pacing of the book just felt off to me, as the lead up to the wedding dragged, then the ending was rushed.
Neurosurgeon … and Mum! by Kate Hardy. Harlequin Medical Romance, July 2010.
Amy Rivers needs a break. Her best friend’s husband was critically injured and Amy was the only available doctor at the time, and when things didn’t go as well as hoped, the couple turned on her, leaving her to question her life as a neurosurgeon. GP Tom Ashby is escaping London to give his daughter a fresh start after his wife died on a medical mission trip. Amy and Tom meet as house sitters for Amy’s aunt and uncle, and they are attracted to one another, but neither wants to take a risk on being hurt again. Amy’s fiancé left her and took his daughter to another country to give it another chance with his ex wife, not allowing Amy to say goodbye to her. Perdy, Tom’s daughter, reminds Amy of her almost-daughter, and she wants to keep her distance. Tom’s wife was insecure and distant, and he doesn’t want Perdy hurt again.
Amy and Tom admit just how screwed up they are to each other, and really make an effort to move on from their pasts. It was nice for once to see the woman as the advanced doctor, while Tom did the village rounds and drank cups of tea. In the end, Amy and Tom did find some closure. My only real quibble with this book, and Medicals in general, is that there is always a little subplot, or interesting case, that is still open at the end of the book. I don’t know if it’s good writing that I’m so interested, or bad writing because I’m not completely focused on the characters. Either way, I was left hanging. Again.
The Billionaire’s Housekeeper Mistress by Emma Darcy. Harlequin Presents, September 2010.
Daisy is PA to a bosszilla. Said boss is trying to get the attention of hero Ethan, who is trying to get the attention of Daisy. One unemployed Daisy coming right up. Money wizard Ethan hires Daisy to manage the renovation and redecoration of his home, and hopes to date her as well. Daisy explains that she can’t date her boss, and that she has to work because her parents lost nearly everything in the Great Recession, and she wants to help them.
Daisy has also been harboring feelings of resentment towards Ethan because he has the know-how to help her parents, and she believes the little guys like her parents got the shaft. But she can’t date him, ask for help and not feel like she’s prostituting herself. Ethan works it out so that he can get Daisy’s parents turned around, help Daisy get another job and a place to live, AND date her all with resorting to blackmail. I think it’s because his parents are college professors. He’s nice. He and his his high school friends get together for Game Night on Tuesdays. His former fiancé didn’t sour him on all women. He barbecued for the crew that renovated his house. How could Daisy walk away from him? I couldn’t.
All books are available in print and ebook at eHarlequin.